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Charles Sims injury: Buccaneers running back out 12-14 weeks after ankle surgery

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have suffered their first significant injury, as rookie running back Charles Sims will miss most of the season due to an ankle injury.

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have announced that rookie running back Charles Sims will undergo surgery on his right ankle tomorrow. The Bucs say that that injury typically keeps players out for 12 to 14 weeks, which would be the first 9 to 11 games of the regular season. Sims suffered the injury during Tuesday's practice.

The Bucs drafted Sims with their third-round pick in this year's draft and he was widely expected to be the primary backup to Doug Martin, as well as the team's main receiving back. Luckily for the Bucs, they have two running backs who were capable replacements after Martin was placed on injured reserve last year. Both Mike James and Bobby Rainey should be capable of picking up Charles Sims' role with few problems. Rainey has been Martin's primary backup in training camp.

Sims' absence likely means Doug Martin's role will be slightly expanded, but it may also create room for Jeff Demps to stick around and do a little more as a receiving back. Demps barely managed to get on the field in the team's first preseason game.

Given the 12 to 14-week timetable, I would expect the Bucs to place Sims on injured reserve designated for return following the team's fourth and final preseason game. They'll then be allowed to bring him back up to the regular roster when he's healthy.